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Jesus & the Puppet Master

Since the time of Augustine, the theological foundation of Western culture has incorporated the concept that God is all powerful and exercises control. Analogous to a weaver's shuttle, God manifests meticulous sovereignty by orchestrating all events, thereby shaping the world precisely as desired. If we assume the validity of this stance, it encompasses both the macro and micro aspects—ranging from weather patterns to microorganisms—as well as every human thought and action.

Let’s pause to ponder. .

If this perspective holds true, then all the suffering we encounter and witness becomes a manifestation of God's sovereign influence.

Instances of abuse, criminality, violence, conflict, genocide, extreme poverty, famine, and ecological crises are all seen as God's intention. Such contemplation leads to serious questions and fosters an image of God as a moral monster, a puppet master of pain, accountable for all historical wrongs. This portrayal of God as a father and the embodiment of love, yet also the source and architect of suffering, tragic events, tears, and torment, creates traumatic wounds and scars our souls, hindering intimacy with the divine.

Fortunately, the Augustinian or Calvinistic interpretation of God does not align with that of Jesus. We should orient ourselves according to Jesus' perspective.

Consider the familiar "Lord's Prayer," often recited. In these words, "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven," Jesus conveys his perception of the world. According to Jesus, the current state of the world does not align with God's intent; it is a place where God's will is not being fulfilled, necessitating the advent of the Father's kingdom.

In this prayer, Jesus depicts the Kingdom as the manifestation of the Father's reign and authority, confronting injustice, suffering, evil, and oppression. Jesus exemplifies this prayer in his own life by extending healing to the sick, freedom to the oppressed, and offering hope to those without hope. By announcing and enacting the reign and rule of the Father's kingdom, Jesus proclaims a new era where the desires and intentions of the Father are at odds, and in conflict with, evil, injustice, and oppression.


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